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Rock Guitar Lessons: Shuffle

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A one, two, three, four.
I would like to introduce you to the world
of shuffles.
The shuffle is a certain kind of groove
and you've heard it already cuz ducka,
ducka, ducka, ducka, it's kinda bouncy.
[SOUND] That's a shuffle.
They come in fast shuffles,
slow shuffles, this is sort of a medium
And I quickly want to explain to you how a
shuffle is built, just so
you have an idea of where they come from.
Now, it's based on a triplet feel.
So triplet is three beats, you know.
One, two, three, one, two, three, one,
two, three, one, two, three, one, two,
three, one, two, three, one.
I'm doing fast triplets there, slow them
down a little bit, one, two, three,
one, two, three, one, two, three, one,
two, three, just repeating looping over
and over again.
The shuffle happens when you take the
middle beat out and you still feel it.
It's still there but it's not played.
So it becomes.
And again if you put it back in dun, dun,
dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun,
dun, dun, dun, du, dun du.
That's where you get your shuffle.
There's a slow blues shuffle, [SOUND] as
you speed it up.
[SOUND] Now, you could put that, that one
beat that I took out you, back in and
it would be like.
That's the one,
two, three, one, two, three, one, two.
But it's kinda cool to have that second
beat left out.
I just wanted let you know that so you
understand that there's that underlying
rhythmic grid, flowing underneath all this
There's that constant, there's that
that sort of the invisible triplet
underneath it all.
I think that's important to, to, to know
With that out of the way,
let's play this riff.
It's in B, we're doing a B power chord
[SOUND] and we're using our pinky,
[SOUND] to get that [SOUND] this is a
major sixth interval.
[SOUND] One, two, three, four, five, six.
[SOUND] It's a great way to remember the
sixth interval,
is that it's just part of the rock and
roll shuffle.
Now, the picking part of this,
this is, I think it's gonna feel good
already because you've gone through the,
the strumming and the rhythm part of this
course so
you already have a way to go up and down
or I should say down and up with a strum.
[SOUND] But this time, [SOUND] instead of
doing a straight strum like,
[SOUND] we're starting to shuffle it.
[SOUND] Which means we're gonna accent.
[SOUND] We're gonna accent the,
the downbeat [SOUND] and those little
notes before.
So basically, we're going, I'm going back
to those triplet.
Du, du du, du, du, du.
We'll take the middle one out to make the
Du, du, du, du, du, du and I'm gonna
accent this.
This note's gonna be louder and
this sort of a pick up note is gonna a
little quieter.
So, we have tat, tut tat, tut tat, tut
tat, tut tat.
That's how you build a shuffle.
Now I wanna give you a couple more chords
cuz this,
this riff has a really cool chord on top.
It's basically looks just like your D
chord that we played earlier.
I'm gonna move it up to [SOUND] I believe
that's ninth position.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, ninth position.
[SOUND] Still sounds good up there, it's
just a different key.
[SOUND] And then I'm gonna do one little
note change and
this is where I'm jealous of piano
Because piano players, if they wanna play
a chord and change one note in it,
all they have to do is move one finger and
keep the other fingers in the same spot.
But with guitar if you want to change one
note in a chord,
[SOUND] sometimes you can do it.
Like if I wanted to go up [SOUND] to the
sus, I can just add a finger and
then I don't have to change anything.
[SOUND] But if I want go down,
[SOUND] how can I get that finger to go
down cuz there's no room for it.
This one's in the way, so I have to
refinger it.
So I'm going to use this finger to replace
this one and
now I've got this one free to play a
lower, [SOUND] a lower note.
So even though only one note changed,
two fingers had to swap [SOUND] to make
that chord change happen.
So I'm a little bit jealous of the piano
players of the world.
But I won't be defeated, because we can
still do it.
I have enough fingers and if I practice it
[SOUND] I can get it.
[SOUND] I know you can, too.
[SOUND] Let's hear this in rhythmic
We gotta figure out how this fits into the
So three, four.
There it is.
The down and up.
[SOUND] Down up.
[SOUND] We're doing, we're doing
syncopation's inside of shuffles now.
This is cool.
And then we'll do our
same shuffle in easy spot, same frets but
on the fifth and fourth strings.
And that's the end and then it just loops.
Let me play it again so you get in you
head because this is gonna be easy
to play once you have the sound in your
One, two, three, four.
That is a cool shuffle,
you play that at a party and people start
You play that at a stadium, the whole
place rocks.
All right.
So, let's try it slow one time just to
break it down see if there's
anything we're missing.
Make sure there's no funny noises that we
don't want.
One, two, three, four.
Now the first thing I notice is
the transitions and
I had like a little [SOUND] open string
transition right there.
And that's what I like about playing slow
is, it lets me know.
What am doing in those transitions?
Let me figure it out.
One, two, three, four.
That was all right.
Let me see if I still do that fast.
Yeah, maybe just an open E,
let me try that.
I like that transition.
I never would have found that, unless I
slowed it down.
That's why I recommend slowing down, not
if you're practicing, but
just figure out the details of your lick
to make it just right.
So, let's do, [SOUND] that open E with an
That's a nice sound, so
now we got that together.
what am I doing right before that E power
chord, let's see.
Maybe another E.
Or maybe I'll even do two.
[SOUND] I'm really getting into the
details here.
But this is what makes it beautiful.
One, two, three, four.
That's cool.
And you really have control of the whole
You've, you've, you've purposely gone
through this riff and
made it where you're controlling every
little detail of it.
And that really makes a difference between
sounding good and sounding really good.
All right.
Alright, so let's try it one more time.
One, two, three, four.
A one, two, three, four.